Here’s A Thought

Have you noticed all the Christmas stars appearing throughout community?

They come to us in various sizes and colors. But what do they mean or symbolize to us?

Well, from Sacred Scripture, which is God’s Love Letter to members of His Family, the Bethlehem Star was God’s Birth Announcement of His only begotten Son, the Divine Child of Bethlehem, Christ Jesus to the whole world.

Indeed, “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky displays what His hands have made.” (Psalm 19:1) Thus, the miraculous Star of Bethlehem is traditionally called “the Star Prophecy” from the Book of Numbers we read: “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel” (Numbers 24:17)

Having read this Messianic prophecy in Sacred Scripture we are told in the Gospel of Matthew account, how the Magi “wise men,” but more accurately astrologers arrive at the court of Herod in Jerusalem informing the king of the appearance of this miraculous star which signifies the birth of the King of the Jews.

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:2)

Believing this Word of God, these men of faith had been following this miraculous star for over two years searching for this messianic new born King of the Jews.

For what purpose? “We have come to worship Him” By faith they believed that this new born infant was God come into human flesh and blood.

Sadly, the people of Jerusalem didn’t even notice God’s birth announcement shining forth for the whole world to see. In fact, we are told that “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; assembling all the chief priests and scribes (the clergy) of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet Micah: ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ” (Micah 5:2)

In a few days, we will be singing these words in our churches and in our homes from this famous Christmas Carol: “We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar. Field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star. O star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect Light.”

As we focus anew our attention on the Star of Bethlehem may God’s Holy Spirit continue to guide us to His Perfect Light through His Word and Sacraments as we hear again the glad tidings of the Christmas angel: .” Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”(Luke 2:11)

Chopp is a chaplain emeritus, MDiv, BCC, from Marshall

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